Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Bell's Poolside Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
82
good
55 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Bell's Poolside AleBell's Poolside Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Poolside Ale is a refreshing Belgian-inspired Wheat Ale with light clove notes. The truly distinguishing feature is the use of 100% Montmorency tart cherries grown in the Traverse City region of Michigan. These cherries add a subtle tartness and bright counterpoint to the other flavors, enhancing Poolside’s fruity character and making it the perfect beer for all summer activities.

Added by shivtim on 05-13-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
55
Ratings:
125
Avg:
3.61
pDev:
22.99%
 
 
Wants:
12
Gots:
23
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 55 | Ratings: 125
Reviews by Brysky:
Photo of Brysky
3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

ST- Tap, into a glass

A- golden in color with little head

S- smells like a ordinary Belgium wheat with a slight hint of hops

T- Tastes like Blue moon or Shock Top but way better with a slight hint of light hops.

M- Easy on the mouth, very smooth

D- Could drink all day long at the beach or a pool, name is perfect for it, Really great for what it is.

 355 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of mfnmbvp
3.93/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 fl oz. can, canned on 06/05/16 printed on the bottom of the can. Acquired the six pack box of this stuff from the local beer store. My first canned offering from Bell's, this one a "Belgian style wheat ale with cherry juice".

Poured into a Duvel tulip snifter.

A - Pours an attractive pinkish-hazed orange body, with one finger of pink-tinted white head that stays a while, leaving excellent fluffy lacing. Hazy and juicy appearance. Appears aptly carbonated. Looks very nice.

S - A subtle but pleasant aroma: semi-tart, yeasty funkiness pervades. No typical witbier yeast esters of banana or clove. The juiciness of the cherries pulls through and mixes with the tart, dry earthy flavors the yeast & wheat.

T - Absolutely delicious stuff: tons of semi-tart juicy cherries, crisp dry / grainy wheat, & earthy yeast. Very nicely balanced stuff; the cherries harmonizes with the wheat & yeast blend perfectly. Subtle notes of traditional Belgian yeast / clove spiciness pulls through.

M - Feel is super smooth, crisp, creamy, & crushable. Light-bodied, with excellent carbonation. Extremely sessionable / easy drinking stuff.

Overall, a hands-down winner from Bell's; probably the best new beer I've had from Bell's in quite some time, and definitely one of the more interesting releases to come out summer 2016.

Bell's Poolside Ale -----4/5.

 1,362 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hitting their stride this summer, even the brewers in the upper midwest get into the pool spirit. Using a copious amount of indigenous cherries, a warm weather witbier steps up and offers a creamy, sweet and fruity addition to the bready taste. There's no question that Bell's makes the most of summer- both weeks of it.

Poolside pours with a light mauve, milky hue. Its visual density blends in well with its creamy head stance as its tangy, bready and pastry-like aromas begin to build. Tart cherry, lemon and orange fill the nose with a succulent perfume. To taste, its sweet sugar cookie doughiness is rounded with savory pie crust.

Boldly creamy, the beer's rich breadiness is sweet, grainy and lightly cereal-like with the delicacy of cherry pastries. Sweet, succulent and tart, the cherry's natural acidity bounces off the mild lactic tang of the witbier while its fruit essence is balanced with white pepper, clove and vanilla.

Mild bitterness balances the bready-sweetness with a light herbal grassiness that trends minty and hay-like. Medium-bodied yet remaining firm and doughy, the smooth finish is short and obviously cherry-like.

 1,146 characters

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce can into signature pint glass, canned on 6/8/2016. Pours hazy deep orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of tart cherry, lemon, orange, pear, apple, pepper, clove, light banana/bubblegum, wheat, bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, cherry juice, and pale malt notes; with good strength. Taste of tart cherry, lemon, orange, pear, apple, pepper, clove, light banana/bubblegum, wheat, bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Light-moderate yeast spiciness and fruit tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart cherry, lemon, orange, pear, apple, pepper, clove, wheat, bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, cherry juice, and pale malt flavors; with a great malt/tart/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from tart/spiciness as well. Medium carbonation and light-medium body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and lightly acidic/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol as expected for 5%. Overall this is a great fruited witbier style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, cherry juice, and pale malt flavors; very smooth and refreshing to drink. Tastes like Winter White with cherry juice added, and is just as delicious as the base beer overall. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,708 characters

Photo of RyanPoff
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very hazy copper - about a finger of creamy head with great retention. Perfect for a summer beer.

S: A tart wheat, cherries, slightly sour fruit.

T: Wheat, slightly cherry tart, and an underlying sweetness. Really good, but a bit heavier than I anticipated.

M: Medium bodied, smooth, refreshing.

A good beer, not sure it's a regular at the price and with so many excellent Bell's offerings out there.

 417 characters

Photo of DanGeo
4.02/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of OKINGFISHO
1.83/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Photo of TTripp725
2.48/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Binny's South Loop tasting room--Chicago

Appearance: orange/yellow in color, with 1/3 inch head

Smell: sour cherries and wheat

Taste: wheat, light cherries that surface in the middle and a sour kick at the end

Mouthfeel: tart, light body, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A nice and light summer sipper. I love the slight sourness. I could have several and is a solid beer. This one strikes me as a lighter, tarter, more complex Sam Adams Cherry Wheat.

 473 characters

Photo of PhilsPils
2.91/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I probably shouldn't review this beer because I must not know what they are going for. A tart wheat ale with a very muted aroma and flavor of cherries. Most of my experience with cherry beers has been with Belgian Kriek which actually tastes like cherries. I understand they weren't trying to brew a lambic but a little more cherry flavor would have been welcome.

 366 characters

Photo of SPRichard
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours an almost opaque reddish-blonde color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of crisp and light malts with good amounts of light citrus aromas and mild amounts of tart cherries.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Light malt flavors kick things off with hints of wheat twang. Joining in shortly thereafter are moderate amounts of light citrus - orange and lemon rind. Midway through the sip tart cherry flavors work their way into things but don't take over the malt flavors, carrying through to a crisp and lightly tart ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I was very pleasantly surprised by this beer. After seeing cherries in the description I was not expecting something I would like very much but after all that's why I have to constantly try new things, to be pleasantly surprised. Worth a shot.

 1,036 characters

Photo of chuckgietzen
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of asabreed
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass at Bell's in Kalamazoo.

Appearance: Pleasantly murky-looking and extremely hazy orange and copper-colored, with a bright white head that leaves decent sheets of lacing.

Smell: Wheat and sour cherries, mild banana sweetness, though you have to dig a bit to get the flavors to come through.

Taste: It tastes to me like fresh cherries were used instead of syrup or extracts, and unless I'm deceived, that makes all the difference. A good mix of sour and sweet with the cherries, and some earthiness and sweetness from the wheat makes a fairly lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: Maybe a little too watery for it's lighter to medium body, but nothing to get overly critical about.

Drinkability: I really enjoyed this brew, and if they ever bottle it, I'd try to find it for the summer. This is coming from someone who also really isn't the biggest fan of wheat beers made with fruit, also.

 910 characters

Photo of branimal9
3.87/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From tasting notes, sampled 7.24.2010...

Cloudy pink in color...looks like ruby red grapefruit juice. Smells soapy and citrusy. Taste is full of clove and orange with a bit of cherry tartness. Zesty, sour and estery, with good drinkability. Pretty good!

 254 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a standard shaker. Pours a hazy yellow orange with a red hue mixed in with a one finger white head. Maintains excellent lacing throughout. The aroma is comprised of bananas, cherries, and malt. The flavor followed the nose with bananas, cherries, and malt. It was light on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a nice refreshing summer brew. It definitely had a robust fruit character to it. Not my favorite style but could probably find myself enjoying a few more of these in the future.

 522 characters

Photo of uziangis
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of alleykatking
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing notes.

Had on tap at the Cafe.

A- Poured good golden amber color. Almost no head while it was being pour and given to me. Don't know what I am in for. What little lacing there is slides down the glass while I drink it.

S- Nice strong cherry smell upfront with a wheaty almost bready/clove smell following it. Not to strong of a smell but pretty faint.

T- Nice tart cherry upfront taste. Nice suprise for me because of the smell and look. Also, the bready/clove smell comes to life a little more making up the backbone of this beer. interesting to say the least.

M- Nice light mouthfeel. Crisp and refreshing. Good carbination helps the beer move gently against the palate. I like the cherry aftertaste that goes on with this beer.

D- This is a good refreshing summertime beer. The only bad thing is I drink it too fast to really enjoy it. Here is to the summer!

 877 characters

Photo of SpdKilz
4.07/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed with my brother-in-law while in Michigan this summer.

Appearance - Comes out a hazy orange in a 20oz plastic cup with about a finger of head. The head dissipates rather quickly and from what I can tell, leaves okay lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Tart citrus, light cherry, wheat. The aroma is inviting and I can't wait to try this.

Taste - Wow, a nice tartness immediately makes my mouth pucker up. Nice orange and cherry flavors mixed in with some grassy notes and wheat. This beer has the typical "Blue Moon" type flavor, but it goes so much further beyond that. This is, to me, the epitome of a "poolside" and summertime beer.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium bodied, decently carbonated.

Drinkability - I could drink this ALL day long. I really enjoyed this beer and have to thank my brother-in-law for suggesting it (was going to get another two hearted instead). Wish I could buy this in a six pack because I would in a heartbeat. A pleasant surprise.

 976 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz tap pour into an American tumbler pint at the Geneva Ale House in Geneva, IL. 5.0% ABV.

Thanks to DavidEddie for buying this beer for me during our in-person trade today!

A - Hazy orange with a pink touch and a fluffy white head. Good retention and a little lace left over.

S - A light aroma, probably from how cold it is, has a base malt aroma with a soft kiss of wheat and tart cherries. Nice start to a poolside beer.

T - A mirror of the aroma, the flavor has a pale base malt providing the backbone for a mild soft wheat and balanced tart cherry flavor.

M - The medium body is smooth but could use less in this area actually. It should be lighter. The mild tartness from the cherries is nice though. It's balanced well.

D - Poolside is a drinkable summer beer but needs just a bit less body for me to say I could keep drinking this all day by the pool.

 868 characters

Photo of thedudeabides77
3.84/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jaydoc
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jsanford
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the counter-filled growlers from CBX's Rare Growler Thursday, poured into a Weizen glass.

A - Pours a hazy orange with reddish highlights and a rocky 2-finger white head.

S - Lotsa wheat with a slight cherry aroma. Smells like Oberon, which I assume is similar to the base of this beer. Not as much cherry aroma as I'd hoped.

T - Ok, there's the cherry flavor! A nice blend of tart cherry and orange citrus mingle with the typical sweet malt, grain and banana of a wheat beer. Very fruity, very balanced.

M - Light bodied with crisp carbonation.

D - Perhaps even more drinkable then my usual Summer go-to, Oberon, Bell's should bottle this. Great beer.

 664 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

really happy with this one. the first thing i ordered up on tap at barleys tonight, served in a pint glass, this one was consumed on 08/14/2010.

really decent pour, light amber in color with a nice two finger head of white that faded quickly but left behind a good amount of lace in its wake.

aroma of faint citrus, light grain a touch of light cherry. nicely blended and nothing really dominating here, just a light mix of bright aromas. flavor follow through was just as nice. light hops, hints of grain, touches of light fruit, really blened quite well with a smooth finish, light dryness and tartness on the tongue and the lasting flavor of cherries left you hanging.

overall really very nicely done. i could drink this all day in the hot sun.

 751 characters

Photo of thekanna
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor, MI.

A: Nice light orange bordering on apricot color with almost not noticeable head.

S: Wheat malts with a faint citrus smell. Finishes clean.

T: Sweet malts lead to a sudden pang of fruit flavor: the taste of cherries and apricots stab at the palate and then leave as quickly as they came. Finishes somewhat yeasty and malty again.

M: Light and crisp.

D: Very good for kicking back; I guess they call it "Poolside Ale" for a reason.

 479 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bell's Poolside Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
82 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe